Mexico: Home of Affordable Private Healthcare

Ret 2

BY: Q-ROO PAUL

The high cost of healthcare in the United States was one of the main factors that influenced our decision to move to Mexico in 2015. At that time, all we knew about healthcare in Mexico was that it would be much cheaper — and that was good enough for us.

Pleasantly Surprised

Our first experience with the healthcare system was when Linda went to a dermatologist in Playa del Carmen for a skin check. We were immediately impressed with the quality of the care.

The doctor began by conducting a very thorough interview with Linda to determine her past skin issues and pertinent family history. He then performed a very detailed examination of every mole, blemish, and dry area on her skin.

If there was a mole that he deemed “suspicious”, he scanned it into the computer using a digital dermatoscope. He studied a magnified version of the mole before adding it to the digital patient’s file. He said that allows him to track any change in the size and/or shape of the mole during future visits. A nurse then took Linda into another room and took pictures of her face using ultraviolet imaging technology to detect sun damage.

The price for all this, without insurance, was about the same as our copay would have been in the U.S. ($40 USD).

At the time, we both thought that this doctor was an anomaly and that there was no way that this experience was representative of the standard care we could expect to receive in Mexico — but we were wrong.

Since then, we have visited other doctors and specialists ranging from cardiologists to gynecologists. In every case, the doctors were extremely attentive, friendly and knowledgeable. They all spent a great deal of time with us and seemed genuinely concerned for our well-being. We left each appointment very satisfied with the quality of care that we received.

The most surprising part was that every doctor gave us their personal cell phone number and encouraged us to contact them via Whatsapp if we had any questions or issues. How often does that happen in the U.S.?

Affordability

Private Healthcare in Mexico is very affordable, even without health insurance. To get a general idea of the costs, check out Mexico: A Look at the Costs of Medical and Dental Treatment.

It is still recommended to have some type of health insurance to cover major medical expenses or hospitalization. Private insurance policies are less expensive than in the States.  Another option is to join one of the public plans (IMSS or Seguro Popular), if you meet the requirements.

Medications

Another thing that can affect overall healthcare costs is the price of medications. Fortunately, generic medications are quite inexpensive and readily available in Mexico.

It’s important to note that all of the generic medications sold commercially in Mexico have undergone extensive testing to ensure that they are the bioequivalent of the name-brand versions.

 

Public vs Private Healthcare

Mexico has both public and private healthcare facilities. Although we could qualify for one of the public health programs (IMSS or Seguro Popular), we prefer to use the private hospitals, clinics and doctors. The private system offers more flexibility and shorter wait times.

I’ll dedicate a future post to providing more details about IMSS and Seguro Popular.

Let’s Wrap This Up

Access to affordable healthcare is only one of a long list of reasons why Mexico is the perfect retirement destination for us. The funny thing is that the more that we learn about our new home, the longer that list becomes.

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How to retire to Mexico: A complete guide

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By TransferWise

Whether you’re a Brit, an American or an Australian you might be considering setting up your home overseas, to enjoy expatriate life in retirement. This way you can make your pension go further, explore somewhere new and still attain a really good standard of living.

If you’re thinking of retiring overseas, then Mexico is a very attractive destination. In fact, in 2017 it was rated the best place for expats to retire for the fifth time in a row, by International Living magazine. Based on its cost, climate and culture and other important considerations like access to amenities and healthcare, Mexico comes out consistently on top.

If you’re considering joining the large numbers of expats retiring in Mexico, you’ll need to know a bit about how to go about arranging your move. Here’s a complete guide to how to retire in Mexico as an expatriate.

What’s the money like there?

The official currency in Mexico is the Mexican Peso. You’ll often see prices written as either MEX$, or just $, although the currency code used by exchange offices is MXN. Even though Mexican Pesos is the official currency, you’ll find that many retailers in more touristy destinations are happy to accept US dollars as well. However, the exchange rates applied will never be good, so you’ll need to open a Mexican bank account and get used to using Mexican Pesos when you retire in Mexico.

Exchange rates rise and fall, so it’s worth keeping an eye on the market so you know what your money will be worth in Mexico. You can always get the most up-to-date figures by using an online currency converter, but at the moment here are some general, rounded figures to give you a basic understanding:

  • 1000 GBP (pounds) = 23,580 MXN (MEX$)
  • 1000 USD (U.S. dollars) = 18,240 MXN (MEX$)
  • 1000 AUD (Australian dollars) = 13,780 MXN (MEX$)

What’s the cost of living?

One of Mexico’s attractions is the balance between reasonable prices, and the availability of all you might want to support a relatively luxurious and cosmopolitan lifestyle. In the cities at least you’ll be able to find imported and luxury goods, and spend your time shopping, eating and drinking as you might in any other western city. However, if you choose to cut your costs and live a more ‘local’ lifestyle, you can have a very good life on a limited budget.

The data site, Numbeo, provides average cost of living data which can give valuable insight into the prices of everyday essentials, entertainment and travel in different locations.

Regular goods Average price in Mexico (USD)*
Three course meal for two at mid-range restaurant $21.91
One litre of milk $0.84
Loaf of white bread $1.37
Bottle of wine (mid-range) $6.71
Petrol (One litre) $0.84
City centre apartment rental (One bedroom) $260.91
City centre apartment rental (Three bedroom) $536.43

**These calculations are from Numbeo, which aggregates cost of living figures entered by locals. They are an average across the country. Therefore, the actual costs will vary by region and city.*

It’s definitely a good idea to do your research, and take into account all the costs connected with retiring in Mexico.

One expensive pitfall for many expats is the high fees levied for international money transfers. If you need to regularly move money from a bank account at home to your Mexican bank account, then it’s good to know that your home bank might not be the cheapest option for this service. Often, banks apply high charges for international money transfers you may not be aware of. The fees might not be transparent, but hidden into poor exchange rates. A much better bet is a specialist service like TransferWise, where you can move your money from one country to the other using the real exchange rate, and with a low fixed fee – leaving you with more money to enjoy your retirement.

How much money do I need to retire in Mexico?

The cost of living in Mexico varies enormously based on the type of lifestyle you lead, and where you choose to live. If you’re hoping to live on a modest retirement income then the good news is that Mexico is relatively cheap for everyday items, housing and entertainment – which is part of its appeal to retirees. Mexico City ranks as 427 out of a listing of 514 world cities, for cost of living, for example.

In fact, as little as $500 a month is enough to get by, if you want to live cheaply in Mexico. This assumes you’ll eat, shop and entertain yourself like a local – and keep away from the expensive import goods.

However, if you want to enjoy a luxurious standard of living during retirement, then this is very possible, and quite affordable in many areas of Mexico. Should you wish to retire comfortably to a property complete with a maid service three times a week and a gardener, this could be achieved for a monthly cost of around $2300, according to this calculation by Investopedia.

Rental prices in particular can vary hugely depending on where you’re looking to live. This all adds to your daily living expenses. Of course, you might prefer to buy a property in Mexico, which could bring down your daily expenses significantly.

You can estimate the cost of living in Mexico, based on the city you’re interested in and your own lifestyle online.

What’s daily life like?

Mexico is a large country with a varied geography, leading to differences in the temperatures and climate in the regions. The altitude plays a big role in the weather patterns affecting different places in Mexico, with the northwest being desert, and the low lying coastal areas experiencing more tropical weather patterns. There are hurricanes in the coastal cities during the hurricane season which runs June through November.

City in Mexico Average Lowest Temp Average Highest Temp
Mexico City 13°C (55°F) 18°C (64°F)
Los Cabos 19°C (66°F) 30°C (87°F)
Cozumel 24°C (75°F) 28°C (82°F)
Acapulco 23°C (74°F) 33°C (91°F)

Because there’s a large expat community in Mexico, you won’t have any problem finding like minded people to spend time with, relaxing and exploring your new home. There are many local expat clubs and interest organisations, which you can find online. One good place to look is the American Benevolent Society which is a charitable organisation tending to the financial and psychological needs of American expats in need – but who also arrange a community calendar of outings and events.

The American Society of Mexico is another active group who arrange events and meetings with a cultural bent, to help foreigners in Mexico learn more about local history, society and culture.

Of course, in the major cities you could easily fill your time quite independently, visiting museums and galleries, or simply enjoying peace in a pleasant climate. One thing to look out for when you’re out and about is the Personas Adultas Mayores programme. If you’re over 60 and a resident of Mexico, this benefit allows you to get hefty discounts from medical services, cultural activities, transport and even store purchases.

What are the best places to retire to?

Mexico is a large and varied country. The capital, Mexico City, has excellent international connections, great amenities, a vibrant cultural life and strong facilities for healthcare and other daily needs. It draws in a lot of expats to live, work and retire for this reason. However, crime can be an issue in some areas, and it’s worth doing your research if this is where you choose to retire in Mexico.

You can compare the crime rates in Mexico City with those in your hometown, online. Naturally, some areas of the city are safer than others, so your best bet is to visit and get the feel of an area before committing. Take local advice and visit at night as well, to make sure that you’re comfortable.

If Mexico city isn’t your preferred location, but you want somewhere in an easy driving distance, try Queretaro. This historic colonial town is considered to have low crime rates, meaning that you can retire comfortably, in beautiful surroundings without worrying too much about safety.

If you’re coming to Mexico for life by the coast you might also want to look at Puerto Vallarta. The temperatures here can get oppressive through the height of summer, when some expats choose to travel, but you do get the benefit of truly beautiful weather for most of the year. Here you can enjoy the best of Mexico, with colonial architecture, Pacific ocean views and a modern growing city which has all the amenities you might need to enjoy you retirement.

What are the visa requirements for me?

If you’re a British citizen and want to retire in Mexico you’ll need to apply in person at your local Mexican consulate. You’ll need a Temporary Resident Visa (Residente Temporal), which will be granted to you as a ‘rentista’ (literally, a person of independent means). You can use this visa to enter the country, and then have to switch it for a Temporary Residence Card upon arrival.

You have 30 days to complete the process in Mexico, and your new card will allow you to come and go as often as you like. There are terms attached to this residence permit for retirees, and you’ll need to show you can finance your stay without working. This is done by showing you have had an income of £1245 a month over the last six months, or hold a bank balance of £62115.

The Temporary Resident Visa can not be issued once you’re in Mexico. This means that if you’re in Mexico on a visitor visa, and decide to switch to a residence status, you’ll have to leave the country to arrange this.

If you’re an American looking to retire in Mexico you can follow much the same process as if you’re a British citizen. You’ll have to apply at your home consulate, and it’s a good idea to confirm the application process details with the Mexican consulate nearest your home. Consulates might have different rules about making appointments, for example, so checking in advance of a visit is smart.

Australian citizens also need to get a Temporary Resident Visa before travelling to Mexico, at their local consulate. It’s good to know, that if you’re in Mexico as a visitor and decide to change your visa status, although you must leave the country you don’t necessarily have to return to your home country as long as you have all your paperwork on you. So as an Australian, you could still theoretically apply for your new visa at an American consulate for example – much easier than getting back to Australia on short notice.

The opportunity of retirement in Mexico attracts people from all over the globe. Whether you’re looking to spend time in the frenetic buzz of Mexico City, enjoy the culture of one of the colonial era towns or retire to the Mexican coast, you’ll be welcomed by a community of expats who have already made the leap.

Good luck, and enjoy planning your dream retirement in Mexico.

Original Post: http://bit.ly/2vMUSmV

Could you live off Social Security alone?

By Michelle Singletary | Washington Post

When it comes to retirement, there’s one question that is sure to get a lot of people to save: Could you survive if you only received Social Security?

But the fact is millions live off their monthly Social Security benefit check. How do they do it?

Barbara Woodruff, 65, of St. Louis told Grandparents.com how she manages.

Her check: $633 a month. This is much less than the national average.

As of June, the average Social Security benefit was $1,254.78 per month.

Woodruff is collecting less than many folks because health problems reduced her working years, she told Grandparents.com’s Daisy Chan. As Chan points out, Social Security benefits are based on your earnings during your working years.

Part of the reason Woodruff can survive on just Social Security is that she gets subsidized housing. She pays $189 for a one-bedroom apartment. She also receives $33 a month in food stamps.

Woodruff has a lot of company in trying to survive on Social Security. As Rebecca Lake reported for Investopedia.com, 21 percent of married couples and 43 percent of single seniors count on Social Security for 90 percent or more of their income.

“Social Security isn’t a substitute for building a solid retirement base, and if you’ve still got time before you retire, consider looking for ways to shore up your savings,” Lake wrote. “Start by chipping in as much as you reasonably can to your employer’s retirement plan, especially if it comes with a matching contribution. If you don’t have a 401(k) or similar plan at work, an individual retirement account (IRA) is another way to grow your savings. The more you set aside now, the less pressure you’ll feel to make your Social Security benefits stretch.”

If you think you’ll be relying just on Social Security, here are some articles with tips on how to make the money stretch.

Retirement rants and raves

I’m interested in your experiences or concerns about retirement. Did you retire early and if so, how did you do it?

Is retirement everything you hoped for? Are you scared you’ll run out of money?

What you share might help others. So send your comments to colorofmoney@washpost.com. Please include your name, city and state. In the subject line put “Retirement Rants and Raves.”

One recent rant came from a friend.

“So, you worked hard, saved your money, cut off your adult children, and retired,” Maribel Soto of Burke, Va. “Are you prepared for retirement’s close companion: aging? The consequences of aging will have a monumental effect on your financial position. It will not be enough to have perfect adult children who did not deflate your retirement wealth. Do your adult children/loved ones have the competence and capability to navigate the health care, legal, and social services systems to ensure your well-being and quality of life?”

Soto asks some good questions considering her own experience.

“Try telling the Social Security Administration that the court has declared you as your mother’s legal guardian,” she wrote. “Show up with all your court records, and they will say, ‘We do not recognize the court’s assessment, we have to conduct our own, meanwhile we can’t tell you why her benefits have been stopped.’ Yet, the assisted living facility has to be paid. That is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Here’s Soto’s poetic take on aging:

Loving father,

Loving mother,

Loving son,

Loving daughter,

Only one faces Medicaid, Social Security, the court system, the banks, and the creditors.

. . . and she is not enough.

Retirement blog

I believe that wealth happens intentionally and for me this means reading as much as I can about all things financial, especially retirement.

Retirement assignment

There’s so much to know and keep watch on when it comes to retirement planning. So every week I’ll have a home assignment for you.

This week, if you haven’t done it already, set up your online Social Security account, which allows you to check your information, including how much you’ll get once you start collecting benefits. Knowing this information is key to retirement planning.

 http://wapo.st/2wOAZjx

Your Own Home in Mexico’s Up-and-Coming Beach Town For $90,000

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By Jason Holland | International living

Dozens of white-sand beaches…the clear azure Caribbean stretching to the horizon…and warm weather (and water) year-round…

Mexico‘s Riviera Maya is certainly a haven for beach lovers. And this stretch of coast on the Yucatán Peninsula welcomes millions of vacationers seeking to soak up the sun every year. But there is still a place, away from the main tourist trail, where you can get all the benefits of that Caribbean lifestyle and enjoy life in a fun, funky, but convenient small town.

Tulum is about two hours from better-known Cancún and 45 minutes from chic and bustling Playa del Carmen. Although it is growing and developing quite rapidly, it’s still worlds away from the crowds. Tourist do find their way to Tulúm but they tend to be laidback and stay in hostels and boutique hotels—this is not a rowdy party crowd. And it has a distinctly Mexican atmosphere, mixed in with a small but significant expat population of retirees, business owners, and others.

That’s what makes daily life in Tulum so appealing. You can enjoy real fish tacos ($3 for three) and ceviche ($8 for huge bowl) at a local’s place like El Camello. (I like to eat at street stands a lot too, with tacos at 70 cents each.) You can also enjoy international cuisine, gourmet fare, and a cappuccino at any number of cafés. But this isn’t a made-for-tourists town, so there are also well-stocked grocery stores, banks, car washes, medical clinics, mechanics…anything you need for daily living.

If you’re ready for a day out on the water, you can rent a beach chair and umbrella at the beach-side “hotel zone,” which is about a mile away from the main town. There are plenty of restaurants right on the water where you can stop in for lunch with a view. Every day the Caribbean is impossibly blue—I never get tired of looking at it.

Opportunities to live right on the shore in Tulúm are limited. On the beach in town much of the land is taken up with boutique hotels and beach clubs. So, if you’re buying a home or land you’ll have to go inland a bit—but you’re still just a 10-minute drive from the water.

A new one-bedroom apartment in town is listed for $90,000. There is also a pool in the tropically landscaped common area. Nearby is a two-bedroom condo for $148,000. This one also has a terrace, access to a pool and a Jacuzzi. Condos like these are popular in Tulúm, with many new developments on the horizon.

But there are also good-value homes on offer. In a gated community, just a short walk to the beach, is a two-bedroom, one-bathroom home for $128,000. Close to the town center is a three-bedroom home for $269,900. This one comes furnished and has its own swimming pool.

All these places put you in town, where you can walk or bike everywhere for shopping, going out for a bite to eat, or to visit friends. And you’re still close to the beach. Ideal.

There’s a distinctly bohemian flare to Tulúm—a legacy of its time, decades ago, as a stop on the hippie backpacker trail. There are plenty of yoga studios and natural healing centers…art galleries…and chilled out beach clubs.

But mostly the funky side of Tulúm expresses itself in the relaxed attitude locals and expats alike share. This is a town where flip flops, shorts, and t-shirts are the uniform…and there’s always time to stop and chat with a friend you see on the street.

http://bit.ly/2veHlZJ

What Makes Mexico So Special?

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By Jason Holland |  International Living

It’s easy to think of the countries of Latin America as being pretty much the same.

Thanks to a shared history as part of Spain’s empire until the 19th century, many of the countries of Latin America (excluding Brazil, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana), share a common language (Spanish with regional accents), religion (Catholicism, although other denominations have flourished), and many cultural hallmarks.

But you will find many differences among the different Latin countries. Mexico for example has many unique features that set it apart.

After moving to Mexico a year ago from my previous home in Costa Rica, and having traveled extensively through Panama, Nicaragua, and Peru, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed discovering all the ways Mexico is special.

First, consider just how big Mexico is. At 758,400 square miles, it’s a bit less than three time the size of Texas. In that vast territory, stretching from the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific, you have a wide variety of climates, cuisines, cultures, landscapes, and lifestyles.

Head to the white-sand beaches and warm aquamarine Caribbean waters of the Riviera Maya and you’re likely to dine in beach restaurants on ceviche (seafood marinated in citrus) and fish tacos in the shade of a palapa (open-sided structure thatched with palm leaves). That’s world’s away from the narrow cobblestoned streets and restored colonial homes, grand cathedrals and churches, and immaculately manicured plazas of San Miguel de Allende’s UNESCO World Heritage centro, where you can enjoy a café con leche (coffee with cream) in a courtyard built 300 years ago.

In Pacific coast resort towns like Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan you’ll find plenty of dining and entertainment options…and seaside fun. Sayulita just to the north is a bohemian surfer paradise. And in Mexico City you have, of course, one of the world’s major metropolises, sprawling across 573 square miles with a population of 21.2 million in the greater metro area.

So too is the weather different. You have it all in Mexico. From warm and humid on the coasts (cooling down to pleasant temperatures in the winter), to the eternal spring-like climate of the Colonial Highlands and Lake Chapala, to the dry heat of the desert climate of Baja California, which only receives 15 or so days of rain per year. There’s a climate for everybody.

Mexico is also the Latin American country most familiar to Americans and Canadians. They come here for affordable dental work. They vacation at the resorts of Cancún, Cabo San Lucas, and Puerto Vallarta, and elsewhere. They drive RVs down to snowbird communities all over the Pacific coast and Baja Peninsula. And they settle all over the country in retirement or to start businesses. There are said to be 1 million Americans living in Mexico, either full- or part-time.

So Mexico feels familiar, which helps the transition if you decide to move down. On top of that, as a modern country Mexico has plenty of products and services that you know from home. High-speed internet is widely available. Cellphone service, including 4G and LTE, is widespread. Medical care is top notch and affordable. You can find large shopping malls with Cineplex’s showing movies in English. And there are stores like Walmart and Home Depot that have brands you know on the shelves.

It definitely has made my family’s life here easier having all that. But that’s not to say that Mexico is like the U.S. but cheaper. Far from it.

Along with all these modern conveniences, you have the rich Mexican culture. When you live in Mexico it seems like there is always some sort of fiesta or parade, whether it’s a religious festival, civic celebration, neighborhood gathering, or just friends getting together. Fireworks, music, and dancing…costumes, masks, and traditional dress…sometimes the party goes well into the night. I’ve certainly enjoyed getting in on the action.

There are countrywide celebrations and holidays but also events specific to certain regions or towns, often for a patron saint’s birthday, or based on centuries old traditions of the local indigenous groups.

For example, in Mérida, locals feel strongly Yucateco (from the Yucatán peninsula) and take pride in the local dances, music, and tradition of poetry. Along with those aspects of local culture, you’ll also find unique cuisines around Mexico.

Back to Mérida, as well as elsewhere on the Yucatán Peninsula, you have dishes not found elsewhere in the country like cochinita pibil, which is roast pork marinated in citrus juice and achiote, a recipe that has its origins in the ancient Maya culture. That’s one of my favorites. Oaxaca, inland from the southern Pacific coast, is where mole, the rich chocolate based sauce, is from—it’s just one of the culinary traditions fostered by the intense mix of indigenous populations there. I must say trying new dishes is one of my favorite parts of being in Mexico.

No matter where you go in Mexico, you’ll find friendly and welcoming people. As an expat you’re spoiled for choice about where to settle down—there’s climate, lifestyle, and landscape for everybody. But no matter where you go, you’ll enjoy modern conveniences and the rich Mexican culture.

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Canada’s Retirement Poverty Crisis Is Avoidable If We Act Now

Former employees and pensioners of Nortel Networks Corp gather in front of Queen's Park to protest the loss of pensions and severance pay in Toronto

By Jerry Dias | huffingtonpost

Decades of attack on the stability of pensions in Canada is nothing short of a crisis looming over the future of our economy, and it must be addressed now before too much damage is done.

We are already beginning to see the effect of past pension cuts.

The stark fact is that fewer and fewer Canadians can look forward to a decent pension. As well, with all the pressures of daily life and raising families, few of us find it possible to save for retirement.

Consider that just over 20 years ago, only 3.9 per cent of seniors lived in poverty. By 2015, the rate was 14.3 per cent — something to be ashamed of, and the situation is unlikely to get better as pensions continue to be attacked.

Seniors spend their pension benefits on the day-to-day things they need: food, clothing, shelter, maybe some travel and gifts for the grandkids. It’s the kind of basic, everyday spending that keep shops open and companies profitable. When pensions are cut, or in some cases eliminated, that spending drops, and the economy suffers.

What is truly costly is setting up a system in which seniors in the future will not have the money to cover basic living costs, let alone help to drive a consumer economy.

It’s pretty basic, really. A consumer economy needs consumers, including senior consumers. And that requires decent pensions.

As well, those with good pensions tend to rely less on public services. This benefits us all, and must be a priority for policymakers and employers.

Employers and many politicians will tell us that decent pensions are too costly. Labour leaders hear that at the bargaining table all too often. But what is truly costly is setting up a system in which seniors in the future will not have the money to cover basic living costs, let alone help to drive a consumer economy.

All too often, employers take the shortcut of cutting pensions to address immediate issues, cutting the future incomes and spending ability of the next generation of retirees in the name of cost savings today. It’s a short-term gain, but it results in long-term pain for many.

This is an issue not just for workers and their employers, but governments as well.

Our federal government has done some good things, including returning the age of eligibility for the Old Age Security to 65 and boosting the Canada Pension Plan, but other measures have not been as positive.

Bill C-27, now stalled at second reading in the House of Commons, would allow defined benefit pension plans (which guarantee a decent pension for life) to be converted to target benefit plans in federally regulated sectors and Crown corporations. This means that workers who spent their working lives building a secure pension, and planning their retirement accordingly, could suddenly see it pulled out from under them.

While the future of C-27 remains unclear, we’ve seen what can happen with target plans.

Just last week, Unifor was forced to take drastic action after Northstar Aerospace refused to top up pensions for its workers and retirees after a deficit in its pension that will result in a 24 per cent cut to benefits because the company is closing. The union occupied the plant, and before being ordered out by the labour board, we were able to make the issue a national story.

The occupation managed to put pensions on the radar of many Canadians, who learned about a big, profitable company that could easily afford to top up its promised pensions but was simply choosing not to do so. Legally the company can get away from it, but that’s not that point. Corporations should morally and ethically have a role and a responsibility to give seniors their fair share. It’s only right, especially when you consider the hefty profits that companies such as Northstar or Sears make on the backs of workers after years of service.

This is just one incident, but it illustrates two vital issues: the threat posed to pensions, and the need to make the public aware. Both must be addressed.

It is vital to get the message out about the importance of good defined benefit pension plans to workers, employers, policy makers and the general public — many of whom do not yet have a decent pension themselves.

The labour movement will continue to take up this fight. Not just Unifor, but all unions and labour bodies will need to push for decent pensions to ensure a stable future for our economy.

Organized labour can also help by setting a good example. At Unifor, we encourage all staff to retire by age 65, even though the law no longer requires it. This is because we believe that workers have a responsibility to make way for another generation.

As well, when workers know that they will retire by age 65, and will need to ensure a strong income for, hopefully, decades to follow, they fight harder for decent pensions during their working lives — and that can only be a good thing.

It’s a fight we cannot back away from, or afford to lose.

http://bit.ly/2wYgDC5

Portugal, Mexico and Malaysia top overseas retirement list

Resultado de imagen para malasia

By Jim Weiker | The Columbus Dispatch

Retirees weary of Florida, Arizona and California can instead look to Portugal, Mexico and Malaysia.

Those three countries took up six of the top 10 “Best Places to Retire Overseas” list prepared annually by the international real-estate service Live and Invest Overseas.

Topping for the fourth year in a row is the Algarve region, on the southern tip of Portugal, where retirees can live comfortably for about $1,700 a month, according to Live and Invest Overseas.

Following Algarve are Valletta, Malta; Mazatlan, Mexico; Abruzzo, Italy; SaintChinian, France; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Lisbon, Portugal; Budapest, Hungary; San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; and George Town, Malaysia.

Southern Europe, Central America and Southeast Asia dominate the full list of 30 destinations, which is based on 13 factors including cost of living, climate, crime, infrastructure, health care, taxes, language, recreation and entertainment.

http://bit.ly/2vKPbc8